tv CNN Newsroom CNN December 8, 2011 11:00am-1:00pm EST
check. whoa, what is that. thank you, paul. appreciate t. we'll have your next political update in an hour. for all the latest political news, go to cnn politics.com. i think we shed head off to washington right now and join suzanne malveaux. was it me? did you leave atlanta because you didn't want to stand next to me for five seconds of your life? >> don, i'm sorry. it was the president. you got trumped by the president. sorry about that. white house christmas party. you've got to go. >> have a great time and have a great show. >> thanks, don. live from washington i'm suzanne malveaux. i want to get you up to speed for this thursday, december 8th. we'll begin live in pittsburgh. that is where attorneys are about to announce a civil lawsuit against bernie fine. he is the fired syracuse assistant basketball coach. zach tomaselli claims he was fondled when he was 13 years old. he plans to discuss these
allegations very shortly. going to bring you his remarks live. we should note, however, that shorts are questioning tomaselli's credibility based on records from the syracuse basketball team's travel as well as hotel. also tomaselli announced this week he is going to plead guilty to sexually assaulting a boy in maine. the syracuse district attorney says he can't prosecute bernie fine for allegedly molesting two former ball boys. that is because the statute of limitations has now expired. bobby davis and mike lane claim that they were sexually abused during the 1980s. the d.a. does say he believes both guys are telling the truth. he told gary tuchman a nanny who worked in the fine home had suspicions. >> she didn't physically witness any molestation but clearly body language, affect, the way they talked to each other, the way they acted around each other, the conversation she had with
laurie fine, there's no question -- >> when it came to bernie, what did she say about the way bernie fine acted that made her know? >> the way they would do things, watch tv, the way they would eat food, the way they would suddenly disappear together. >> now bernie fine's attorneys have not yet responded to the accusations allegedly made by the nanny. meanwhile jerry sandusky could be getting out of jail this afternoon. the former penn state assistant coach was arrested again yesterday after two more young men came forward to accuse him of sexual abuse. now this brings the total number of alleged victims to ten. sandusky could be released on a $250,000 cash bail. attorney general eric holder, he is in the hot seat on capitol hill this morning. a house committee is investigating possible wrongdoing in a gun sting operation known as "fast and furious." it allowed illegally purchased
firearms to be taken from arizona to drug cartels in mexico. some house republicans say holder should resign but the a.g. is now standing his ground. >> the use of this misguided tactic is inexcusable and it must never happen again. soon after learning about the allegations raised by atf agents involved with "fast and furious" i took action designed to ensure accountability. >> so also set to take some heat on capitol hill, former u.s. center and governor of new jersey, jon corzine. he was chief executive officer of the firm m.f. global when it collapsed in the eighth largest bankruptcy in u.s. history. lawmakers want to know what happened and why an estimated $1.2 billion, that's billion ons in client funds are now unaccounted for. in prepared testimony today corzine apologizes for his firm's failure but says he doesn't know where the missing money went. politics.
all about momentum, mojo. newt gingrich clearly, he's got it in the republican race. a cnn polling shows the former house speaker surging to the front of the pack in critical first primary states. we'll be talking about iowa, south carolina, florida all by double digits leads. he is nipping at mitt romney's heels in new hampshire. as gingrich tells wolf blitzer this is quickly becoming a two-man race. >> too early to say that it's yours to lose? >> yeah. well, it's either romney or mine. >> what about the other candidates? >> we're the two frontrunners. it's a fair thing to say without diminishing anybody. both of us have different kinds of strengths, but romney's a very formidable opponent. all right. 's going from governor to inmate. rod blagojevich has 90 days to report to prison. the former illinois governor was
sentenced yesterday to 14 years for corruption that included trying to sell president obama's old senate seat. in court blagojevich said he was unbelievably sorry. the judge said the apology came too late. so rod blagojevich just got sentenced to 14 years in prison, but does the time fit the crime? carol costello jieoining us wit today's talk back question. >> 14 years is say long time, right? it's safe to say, suzanne, the judge threw the book at him. 14 years for among other things selling a senate seat for personal political gain. make no mistake, u.s. district judge james zagle made an example of the man of a million hair jokes. >> sentenced to 14 years on former governor blagojevich sends a strong message that the
public has had enough and judges have had enough. this needs to stop. >> not many would disagree with that, but 14 years? dr. conrad murray only got four years for causing michael jackson's death. depaul law professor told the "chicago sun times," it's outrageous. it's cruel and unusual punishment. he says, i think it's outrageous. the judge and the prosecution went off the deep end on this one. after all, former congressman and majority leader tom delay appeared on "dancing with the stars" while charges of money laundering swirled around him. congressman randy duke cunningham got eight years for accepting bribes and tax evasion. richard nixon, he got zero time. clearly mr. blagojevich is not happy to be the example the public has had enough. >> we're going to keep fighting on through this adversity and
see you soon. >> yet he and many other politicians have violated something that ought to be sacred, your trust. so we want to take the conversation one step further. the talk back question today, should politicians be subject to harsher punishments for wrongdoing? facebook.com/carolcnn. i'll read your comments later this hour. great question, carol. thanks. here's a rundown on some of the stories we are covering. first, a former assistant coach at syracuse university avoids criminal sex abuse charges. now an alleged victim is finding a new way to seek justice. and the families of dozens of women who took this birth control pill say they died because of it. now the company stands accused of hiding evidence. then new jersey's former governor tells congress he doesn't know where the money went. jon corzine forced to talk about the millions of investor dollars
that his company lost. later, rare amazing video of a marine fire fight in afghanistan captured by the lens of a marine photographer. >> you hear about people being battle tested. i habe a cohd. yeah, i toog nyguil bud i'm stild stubbed up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't un-stuff your nose. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your stuffy nose. [ deep breath ] thank you! that's the cold truth!
boy. his remarks live when they happen. tomaselli on the right of the screen, one of the three men who have publish publicly accused fine. they claim that they were abused during the '80s when they were syracuse team ball boys. the syracuse district attorney says he can't bring a case against fine. that is because the statute of limitations has expired now for davis and lang. tomaselli's case, not in his jurisdiction. the d.a. does have and does believe that he -- he actually believes their story. he told our gary tuchman that the fooin's former nanny backs up these allegations. >> is it your impression that the nanny is convinced that bernie fine had a sexual relationship with bobby davis while she was at the house? >> no question about it. all kinds of things. she didn't physically witness any mol less station but clearly body language, affect, the way they talked to each other, the
way they acted around each other, the conversation she had with laurie fine. there was no question. >> when it came to bernie, what did she say about the way bernie fine acted that made her know. >> the way they would do things, the way they would watch tv, the way they would eat food together, the way they would suddenly disappear together. >> what did laurie fine say to her. >> laurie fine had numerous conversations with her. the gist of the conversations were i don't have the right parts for bernie and clearly indicating you recognize the hearsay implications, but clearly recognizing that laurie fine was of the opinion that bernie fine was gay and that they were leading two separate lives in the same house. >> the nanny that worked there said that laurie fine talked to her, a 16-year-old girl, about she didn't have the parts for her husband? >> you know, it was difficult to listen to, but that's exactly right. >> remember, fine's wife,
laurie, discussed her husband in a telephone call. espn says the conversation was secretly recorded by accuser bobby davis back in 2002. fine is heard saying her husband has issues. >> i know some things about you that if you keep pushing are going to be let out. >> that's what i'm saying. >> let him go ahead. let him go ahead. >> they'll take him to prison. >> i think he thinks he's above the law. >> point out that laurie fine claims that that phone call was creatively edited and our senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin is joining us by phone. jeff, first let's focus on zach tomaselli's lawsuit here. what does it tell us? what do we know about his credibility and his story?
>> reporter: well, the first thing we know is that his lawyer is jeff anderson who is a very successful, very aggressive lawyer from st. paul, minnesota, who has been -- sued many catholic archdiocese. he is familiar with this area of the law and been successful. this case is in pennsylvania even though the whole focus of the investigation has been syracuse, and that's because there was an allegedly an event that took place, an abuse -- act of abuse took place in pittsburgh and pennsylvania has a much more favorable statute of limitations than new york does so they are in better shape on those legal grounds. tomaselli has a lot of problems. he is, himself, currently being accused of engaging in sexual abuse. he's estranged from his family.
some family members have said he's lying about the situation. so obviously it's important for everyone to keep an open mind about what happened here, what's going to happen with this lawsuit, but he's got a very serious lawyer. it's going to be a major issue for syracuse to have to deal with. >> jeff, with the syracuse case, the d.a. can't prosecute fine because of statute of limitations, but what do they do, bobby davis and mark lang? should they bring about a civil lawsuit at this point. >> reporter: well, i can't claim to know every possible avenue, but i think they may be well out of luck if all they have is events that took place allegedly in new york state. they would have no option to bring a case in any other jurisdiction so they may have no criminal or civil remedy because of how much time has passed. >> even though the judge says he believes their stories, that
they're credible? >> reporter: that's what statute of limitations is. it is a bar to bringing a case after a certain point even if you can prove your case. a statute of limitations, if it is applied strictly, as it usually is, is that after a certain date even valid claims are extinguished. now the theory behind it is everyone should have a certain period of time. it's just very hard to prove things after a number of years, and the theory of the legal system has been it's unreasonable to expect defendants to be able to come up with explanations for their whereabouts 10, 20 years ago when records have disappeared, witnesses have disappeared. that's the idea behind statute of limitations. that's why cases are simply barred after a certain number of years. >> and, jeff, we should let our audience know that fine's attorneys, they spoke to cnn on wednesday and they said that evidence is going to show that
tomaselli's claims, the third person, in their words, are fabricated. we know that tomaselli's lawsuit names bernie fine as the defendant here but they don't go after syracuse university. why not? should they? >> reporter: you know, i don't know all the ins and outs of the legal strategy here. as you point out, it is very important for everyone to remember that, you know, we're dealing here with a swirl of accusations, different plaintiffs all with different stories, and it is entirely possible that coach fine is innocent and that these allegations simply do not take place. tomaselli, davis, any of them. here you have some conflict among the various accusers. it all underlines the fact that accusations aren't proof and we don't know what, if anything, happened in terms of abuse at syracuse. >> all right.
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the senate failed to confirm president obama's nominee to head the consumer financial protection bureau. president obama is getting ready to make a statement on richard cordray's failed confirmation. i want to bring in a theen in a jones. this is unusual that the president is going to come out to the briefing room and discuss this. this must be pretty significant. >> reporter: this has been something that the white house has been pushing for several days. it's important to mention that they not surprising to mention that it's not unusual that they didn't get it through to the next level of debate. here you have the president just really reiterating how important this is to this obama administration. they have been pushing it for several days. yesterday there were several state attorneys general here also pushing this nomination.
back several weeks ago 37 state attorneys general, bipartisan group all around the country sent a ler talking about how richard cordray who was a former state attorney general for owe hue owe, how he's important for the job. you need someone without a leader, the bureau can't do its job which is to help level the playing field between banks and other parts of the financial services industry like mortgage lenders, like pay day lenders, mortgage brokers. the kind of organizations that have at some times hurt ordinary people, hurt middle class families and caused them to, for instance, take out money that they couldn't pay back, loans they couldn't pay back, high interest rates. this is all part of the white house's argument that they are behind protecting the middle class against unsavory practices. they need someone like this in place as the head of this bureau in order to do that.
>> why does the senate object to his nomination? what do they say? >> some say this is creating another level of bureaucracy. they're against putting this in place. they believe that the consumer protection bureau has too much power. they said that maybe there should be a committee in charge instead of one person in charge. there are various ideas, but the issue here for the moment is that this nomination is not going forward. the president wants to come out and really put the pressure on, keep the pressure on to try to make this case again so the american people, certainly to the middle class that the white house has their back whereas republicans don't. it's part of the larger theme we've been hearing from the president and the white house the last several days and weeks. >> tell us who this guy is for people who have never heard of him before. what is his background? what is the significance of the president picking him as his nominee? >> well, certainly most recently he was the attorney general for the state of ohio. that's one of the things that they've been focusing on most
the last several days is that he has a history of fighting for middle class families. you had, as i mentioned, these 37 states attorney general from around the country, both sides of the aisle, a bipartisan group coming out in support of his credentials. that's really been the focus of the last few days saying that the republicans are not opposed to cordray because he's not qualified. it's political. >> when you talk about the politics of all of this, the president's message, clearly he is trying to move forward, talking about he's fighting for the middle class, dealing with the economic crisis, trying to turn things around. how important is it right now that he gets this nominee through? >> well, it's certainly very important to the white house because it's in line with their larger agenda, which has been their agenda since certainly leading up to the last presidential election. all about fighting for middle class families.
this is important. this is one of the chief accomplishments of the presidency, apart from health care. the dodd-frank efforts to reform the financial regulatory system, this is certainly what helped get america into this deep economic crisis. without these reforms and these changes put in place, this administration thinks that you're not going to be able to avoid this kind of problem in the future. it's not just the big banks that are dealing with mortgages and brokers, there are a lot of other lenders. so those also need to be regulated because how interlaced the system is these days. >> okay. thank you very much. obviously going to take the president's remarks as soon as he goes to the podium in the briefing room about this controversial situation that is takings place. trying to push the nominee through and the senate rejecting it looking at the economic impact that will have as well. progresso. it fits!
house inside the briefing room. this is where our own brianna keilar is. we are waiting to hear from the president who will be taking the podium to make some remarks. brianna, break this down for us. why is he making this kind of surprise appearance here? what is the significance of this? >> specifically what he'll be pressing for, suzanne, is the importance of the head of the consumer financial protection bureau to be in place. richard cordray, who his nomination failed in the senate. obviously this is a bureau that was created to protect consumers so specifically that's what he's pushing for in response to this vote in the senate that failed. there's a much bigger picture that's going on here and that is that it's not every week that you see president obama come out to the briefing room twice, which is what he's done. we saw him earlier this week. then on wednesday we saw him give a major economic speech in kansas, and now we're seeing him today. this is very significant.
he's very much flexing his muscle and really using the bully pulpit in trying to frame a smaller, more specific argument here, but something larger that we are going to be seeing going into the whole next year really framing the argument that will characterize his campaign, and that is a message that he is for the middle class and that it's republicans who are not helping the middle class as much as he is. we heard him earlier this week pushing for the payroll tax cut extension saying that republicans essentially need to get on board and make sure that taxes do not rise. well, at the same time you'll hear republican sources on the hill say ultimately that payroll tax cut will be extended. then you're hearing him today talk about the need for the head of the consumer financial protection bureau be in place. this fits into a much larger argument and campaign message. >> i think that's an excellent point, the timing of all of this, that the president is aggressively starting his campaigning, if you will.
tell us a little bit about whether or not he has any recourse. can he nominate somebody else? should he nominate somebody else? does he have to really fight this fight or is he just doing it to make that broader point that you talked about? >> i think at this point it's sort of a broader fight and it's this political message. in terms of the next steps, we haven't really seen what those are going to be, suzanne. if you look at the timing here, we're a couple weeks away from christmas. we're going to see this big push for the payroll tax cut extension that's already underway and obviously congress needs to wrap that up before the holiday. the president will be going on vacation to hawaii. we'll be seeing the campaign season for republicans starting in earnest at the very beginning of january. so this is sort of this push. the timing, make no mistake about t it's no coincidence, suzanne. >> the fact that this is the second time we've seen him in the briefing room that you had mentioned before, this is a very important time for him. this message, trying to hone in
here that he is for the middle class, he is trying to bring jobs back, i assume that that is critical to his campaign and to moving forward. he has a limited window to prove to the american people that he is addressing their concerns. >> yeah, it is critical obviously to his messaging going into this election year, especially as we'll be turning so much attention to republicans as that battle really heats up. this is the message that he's been trying to frame for sure, that he is fighting for the middle class. this is something that you'll hear republicans call class warfare but president obama and democrats really feel like they have a winning message. they feel like they've kind of painted republicans into a corner really starting with the senate failure to pass a payroll tax cut extension that would have kept that payroll tax cut in place for 160 million americans, working class americans, and paying for it by increasing taxes on people who
make $1 million or more a year. republicans say this hits small businesses. democrats say that republicans are protecting the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. this is really a message that president obama is going to continue to hammer. he feels obviously that he has momentum. democrats feel that they have momentum. this is what they're using at this point to try to get republicans back on their heels. ultimately the expectation is that that payroll tax cut will be extended which would be a victory for president obama. he's continuing this this day with his push about richard cordray's nomination. >> thanks. i want to give our viewers. we are following another breaking news story here. we have just learned that former penn state football coach jerry sandusky has now posted the $250,000 bail. that is according to his attorney, joe a.m. mandela. he spent the night in jail after being arrested again for the alleged sexual assault, this of
two new victims. the former penn state assistant football coach, he was arrested, this is after two young men came forward accusing him of sexual abuse. this brings the total number of alleged victims now to ten. so, again, sandusky now out on bail. we understand the terms of that is that he would be monitored, that he would not be allowed to speak or reach out to any of the alleged victims, and that clearly they'll be watching him very closely. so that is the latest out of sandusky. want to go back to the other breaking news story. we havon king in washington here to talk a little bit about the significance here of the president coming out here to the briefing room. as brianna said, he wants to make a point. he wants his guy in place. the senate says, no, we're not having it. this is part of a bigger messaging that is going on moving forward looking at the months in the campaign. >> it certainly is, suzanne.
this consumer protection agency was created under the dodd-frank financial legislation. republicans didn't like that legislation. they continued to complain that it puts too much government oversight, government regulation over the financial industry. they don't know the rules. they don't know the transparency. what you'll see the president say is here is the former ohio attorney general, richard cordray. he has backing of republicans all over the country saying put him in there. we need this agency. what the president is going to say is you have republicans that won't raise taxes on millionaires, they'd rather defend them. now they won't let me have a consumer watchdog to go in and oversee the banks, credit card agencies. republicans are saying no. it is an important policy narrative here in washington over the role of government, the reach of government, how strong should regulation be over the financial agency. a credit an consumer watchdog. it's also part of a much bigger narrative heading into the campaign where the president is
essentially if you boil it all down trying to make the case, i'm on your side. the democratic incumbent, i'm on your side, the american people, consumer, middle class, making the case that it is the represent kangs, he will argue, defending the special interest, defending the big banks, defending the greedy against the little guy. it is a significant policy dispute. we shouldn't make it all about the politics, but it plays. you know, suzanne, from your years covering the white house. what you see in the briefing room, you will see the president outdoors sometimes in warmer weather. he right now is in a very competitive re-election climate. right now if you run the historical statistical models, most say he's likely to lose. we have to wait and see who the republicans nominate. at a minimum we will have a very, very competitive presidential election. in that as brianna noted over the last several days the white house deciding now is the time to begin to use more and more the resources that only the president has. we call it the bully pulpit.
you can call it the air force one strategy. a president has resources, even a struggling incumbent president has resources that no challenger can match, suzanne. >> you can't overstate that, the fact that when the president speaks, people pay attention. they listen. they want to hear what he's got to say. obviously he's using taking advantage of this messaging, if you will. if this fight, if he doesn't get his guy through, how far does he push this? is it evenness or does he let it die? the fight in him, some people have said we've seen a little bit more fight in this president now, is what so many democrats and moderates and people have been looking for from this president. >> i would not expect the president to back down on this one at all because he believes particularly with this agency that it's t. ball. he can go to the american people. he's going to the podium in a minute and a half and saying this agency was created to protect you. this nominee has broad support.
republicans in the united states senate, republicans in washington who want to block me, denying you a consumer watchdog you need. the democratic base would revolt against it. remember, initially it was elizabeth warren. the president didn't nominate her. the one republican who did not vote with his party, olympia snow voted present. scott brown is in a senate race. guess who his likely opponent is going to be in massachusetts, elizabeth warren. this issue, this fight is going to play out not only here in washington but out on the campaign trail. you're going to see in olympia snow, scott brown, some of the republicans who have to go home to or run for re-election in more moderate states, states the president is likely to carry in next year's election getting a tad nervous at what they view is overly confrontational tactics by the senate republican majority -- i mean the senate republican minority.
mitch mccome has used these tactics and has said if you talk to him and his staff, he thinks he's succeeding. >> john, had you a chance to talk to michele bachmann just yesterday. how are the republicans countering what they're seeing from the president now, more aggressive stance, if you will, on fighting for the middle class snnchts they want to make the argument that any tax increases are wrong right now. the bigger argument is the president's speech in kansas was quite interesting. it's up to the american people to decide. the president laid down a marker that's hard for anyone to disagree with that the prospect of the american dream, struggles of the american class, growing gap is what the president called the defining challenge of our time. it will be the defining issue in the campaign. the president says the debate is the government has to use its powers. use the levers of government to decrease, close the income gap between the haves and the have-notes, between the upper 1% and bottom 20%, but you could say the other 99% if you want to
take the occupy language and use that. the republicans say, no, the government should not be doing that. let the market do that. get government out of way and the rising tide lifts all boats, if you will. there is a huge philosophical debate about the role of government. in this struggling economy as the economy tries to recover, then sputers from time to time, that is going to be a big part of the debate. yes, it's taxes and spending. yes, it's raising taxes on millionaires or not the republicans will argue. the bigger picture is what role does government have? should the government be pulling levers to fix this or get out of the way and leave it to the market? >> it may be a little too soon to know this, john, where do you think voters are going on this? latest polling, what does it show in terms of do folks feel like now they want more government, more effective government or they want less? >> you see the negatives of the tea party on the rise. there's the president. >> couple of days ago i said that we are in a make or break moment when it comes to america's middle class. we either have a country where
everybody fends for themselves or we create a country where everybody does their fair share, everybody's got a fair chance, and we ensure that there's fair play out there. to ensure fair play one of the things that i talked about was the importance of making sure we implement financial reform, wall street reform that was passed last year. a key component of that was making sure that we have a consumer watchdog in place who can police what mortgage brokers and pay day lenders and other non-bank financial entities are able to do when it comes to consumers. this is a big deal. about one in five people use these kinds of mechanisms to finance everything from buying a house to cashing their checks and we passed a law last year
that said we need this consumer watchdog in place to make sure the people aren't taken advantage of. now we have nominated somebody, richard cordray, former attorney general and treasurer of ohio, who everybody says is highly qualified. the majority of attorney generals, republican and democrat from across the country have said this is somebody who can do the job with integrity, who has a tradition of being a bipartisan individual who looks out for the public interest, and is ready to go. he actually helped set up the consumer finance protection board. this morning senate republicans blocked his nomination refusing to let the senate even go forward with an up or down vote on mr. cordray. this makes absolutely no sense. consumers across the country
understand that part of the reason we got into the financial mess that we did was because regulators were not doing their jobs. people were not paying attention to what was happening in the housing market. people weren't paying attention to who was being taken advantage of. there were folks who were making a lot of money taking advantage of american consumers. this individual's job is to make sure that individual consumers are protected, everybody from seniors, to young people who are looking for student loans, to members of our armed services who are probably more vulnerable than just about anybody when it comes to unscrupulous financial practices. there is no reason why mr. cordray should not be nominated and should not be confirmed by the senate and should not be doing his job right away in order to carry out his mandate and his mission. so i just want to send a message to the senate, we are not giving up on this. we are going to keep on going at
it. we are not going to allow politics as usual on capitol hill to stand in the way of american consumers being protected by unscrupulous financial operators. we're going to keep on pushing on this issue. now, the second thing i want to make clear about is that with respect to the payroll tax, you guys have all seen our countdown clock behind us. this is about doing -- making sure that everybody is doing their fair share and that the middle class does not see their taxes go up by $1,000 in 23 days. we've heard recently some intonations from the senate majority leader and from the speaker of the house or the senate minority leader and the speaker of the house that they think we should do a payroll tax but the question is what price will they extract from the
president in order to get it done. i just want to make clear, this is not about me. they shouldn't extend the payroll tax cut for me. they shouldn't extend unemployment insurance for me. this is for 160 million people who in 23 days are going to see their taxes go up if congress doesn't act. this is for 5 million individuals who are out there looking for a job and can't find a job right now in a tough economy who could end up not being able to pay their bills or keep their house if congress doesn't act. so rather than trying to figure out what can they extract politically from me in order to get this thing done, what they need to do is be focused on what's good for the economy, what's good for jobs, and what's good for the american people. and i made very clear, i do not expect congress to go home unless the payroll tax cut is extended and unless unemployment
insurance is extended. it would be wrong for families but it would also be wrong for the economy as a whole. with that, i'm going to take a couple of questions. >> thank you, mr. president. very busy time. i'd like to ask you about two other important items in the news. republican candidates have taken aim at your approach to foreign policy, particularly the middle east and israel. the issue of a peacement, i want to get your reaction to that. i want to know if you intervened in halting the sale of the morning after pill to people under 17. >> ask osama bin laden and the 22 out of 30 top al qaeda leaders who have been taken off the field whether i engage in appeasement or whoever's left out there. ask them about that.
with respect to the plan-b, i did not get involved in the process. this was a decision that was made by kathleen, the secretary of hhs. i will say this as the father of two daughters, i think it is important for us to make sure that we apply some common sense to various rules when it comes to over-the-counter medicine. as i understand it, the reason kathleen made this decision was she could not be confident that a 10-year-old or an 11-year-old going to a drugstore should be able, alongside bubble gum or batteries, be able to buy a
medication that potentially if not used properly could end up having an adverse effect. i think most parents would probably feel the same way. so the expectation here, i think it's very important to understand for women, for those over 17 this continues to be something that you can go in and purchase from a drugstore. it has been deemed safe by the fda. nobody's challenging that. when it comes to 12-year-olds or 13-year-olds, the question is can we have confidence that they would potentially use plan-b properly and her judgement was that there was not enough evidence that this potentially could be used improperly in a way that had adverse health effects on those young people. >> do you support that decision.
>> i do. >> mr. president, is recess appointment for richard cordray on the table number one. number two, the new italian prime minister today indicated he may be coming to the white house next months. do you think he and other european leaders are stepping up in the way you urged them to to sort of clear up the debt crisis. >> i will not take any options off the table when it comes to getting richard cordray in as director of the consumer finance protection board, and i want to repeat what i said earlier. this is a law that was passed by congress that i signed into law that is designed solely to protect american consumers. i don't think there's any consumer out there, i don't think there's any american out there who thinks that the reason we got into the big financial mess that we did was because of too much regulation of wall street or the financial services industry. i take it back. i'm sure there are some folks in the financial service industry
who make that argument, although i'm not sure they make it with a straight face. so, you know, let's take a very specific example. all the families out there who have now lost their having paid their mortgage over and over again because they were told that they could afford this home, they didn't understand all the documentation that was involved, this was peddled deliberately to them even though a mortgage broker might have known that there was no way that they could keep up with these payments, and now they're out on the street because nobody was making sure that there's fair play and fair dealing in the mortgage industry. now why wouldn't we want to have somebody just to make sure that people are being treated fairly? especially when not only is that family is affected but our whole economy is affected.
this is part of what i was talking about a couple days ago. we have a congress right now, republicans in congress right now, who seem to have entirely forgotten how we got into this mess. and part of the reason was because we did not empower our rerters to make sure that they were ensuring fair play. that's what the consumer finance protection board is desned to do. holly petraeus, wife of general petraeus, who's been working to make sure that our armed services personnel aren't taken advantage of. they get transferred to a base and next thing they know, they're taking out loans that they think are a good deal but it turns out that they're paying $100, $150 -- 200% interest rates.
why wouldn't we want somebody in place to make sure that doesn't happen? it doesn't make any sense. >> so bottom line is you asked about the recessed appointment? we're going to look at all our options. my hope and expectation is that the republicans who blocked this nomination come to their senses and i know that some of them have made an argument, well, we just want to sort of make some modifications in the law. well, they're free to introduce a bill and get that passed. but part of what's happened over on capitol hill, not just on this issue but on every issue, they will hold up nominations, well qualified judges aren't t getting a vote. i've got assistant secretaries to the treasury who get held up for no reason just because they're trying to see if they can use that to reverse some
sort of law that's already been passed. and that's part of what gets the american people so frustrated. because they don't feel like this thing is on the level. on the european debt crisis. i am obviously very concerned about what's happening in europe. i've expressed those concerns repeatedly to president sarkozy, chancellor merkel, all the key leaders involved. i think they now recognize the urgency of doing something serious and bold. the question is whether they can muster the political will to get it done. look. europe is wealthy enough that there's no reason why they can't solve this problem. it's not as if we're talking about some impoverished country
that doesn't have any resources and is being buffetted by the world markets and they need so co to come hand in hand to get help. this is europe with some of the wealthiest countries on earth collectively one of the largest markets on earth. if not the largest. and so if they muster the political will, they have the capacity to settle markets down, make sure that they are acting responsibly and that governments like italy are able to finance their debt. and i think chancellor merkel has made some progress with other european leaders in trying to move towards a fiscal compact where everybody is playing by the same rules and nobody's acting irresponsibly. i think that's all for the good, but there's a short-term crisis
that has to be resolved to make sure markets have confidence that europe stands behind the euro. we're going to go everything we can to push them in a good direction on this because it has a huge impact on what happens here in the united states. they are our largest trading partner and we're seeing some positive signs in our economy, but if we see europe tank, that obviously could have a big impact on our ability to generate the jobs that we need here in the united states. i'm going to answer one last question. >> mr. president, thank you. you just called on congress not to leave until they resolve this issue over the payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance benefits. can you say definitively that you will postpone your own vacation until these two matters are resolved? and also, on iran, we've heard some sharper language from members of your administration about iran recently. are you intentionally trying to ramp up some pressure on iran
and given this no options are off the table, do we take that to mean that you are considering some other options? >> no options off the table means i'm considering all optio options. but what i can say with respect to iran, i think it's very important to remember, particularly given some of the political noise out there, that this administration has systematically imposed the toughest sanctions on iran ever. when we came into office the world was divided. iran was unified and moving aggressively on its own agenda. today iran is isolated and the world is unified and applying the toughest sanctions that iran's ever experienced and is having an impact inside of iran.
and that's as a consequence of the extraordinary work that's been done by our national security team. how to, iran understands that they have a choice. they can brave that isolation by acting responsibly and foreswearing the development of nuclear weapons which would still allow them to pursue peaceful nuclear power like every other country that's a member of the non-proliferation treaty, or they can continue to operate in a fashion that isolates them from the entire world and if they are pursuing nuclear weapons, then i have said very clearly that is contrary to the national security interests of the united states, it is contrary to the national security interests of our allies, including israel, and we are going to work with
the world community to prevent that. with respect to my vacation, i would not ask anybody to do something i'm not willing to do myself. so i know some of you might have been looking forward to a little sun and sand, but the bottom line is that we are going to stay here as long as it takes to make sure that the american people's taxes don't go up on january 1st and to make sure that folks who desperately need unemployment insurance get that help. and there's absolutely no excuse for us not getting it done. keep in mind on the payroll tax cut, this is something that democrats and republicans agreed to last year with little fanfare. and it was good for the economy. and independent economists estimate that for us to not
extend it right now, to not extend payroll tax cut, not extend unemployment insurance, would have a significant adverse impact on our economy. right at a time when we're supposed to be growing the economy. so when i hear the speaker or the senate republican leader wanting to dicker, wanting to see what can they extract from us in order to get this done, my response to them is -- just do the right thing. focus on the american people, focus on the economy right now. i know the suggestion right now is that somehow, well, this keystone issue will create jobs. that's being determined by the state department right now and there is a process. but here is what i know.
however many jobs might be generated by a keystone pipeline, there are going to be a lot fewer than the jobs that are created by extending the payroll tax cut and extending unemployment insurance. get it done. and if not, you know, maybe we'll have a white christmas here in washington. and i look forward to spending a lot of time with you guys between now and the new year. all right? thank you, guys. >> all right. first i want to go to john king on this. so, john, there are a couple things that stood out here. on one hand he's talking about the payroll tax cut, he's also talking about unemployment insurance and perhaps willing to put in some time before he goes off to his hawaii vacation to make sure that gets done. on the other hand, he was very definitive, very bold when it came to talking about iran, that
iran has weakened and about hitting back really hard on republicans about supporting appeasement saying ask osama bin laden, some of the others that are left out there to -- whether or not he supports appeasement. which issue do you think that voters are listening to now? which one is going to make the real difference in this campaign? is it the economics? is it the foreign policy? >> 11 months from now when the american people pick their next president, decide whether to give president obama four more years or pick whoever the republican nominee is, the economy, by and large, overwhelmingly will be the issue. but at the moment the president is coming under attack from several fronts. i think if you want a headline from that event, it would be game-on. president making clear he is ready to be more combative. as you did, i found it quite striking. there was a big event, republican jewish coalition, six of the republican presidential contenders spoke to it. there's been a great deal of president when it comes to the president and his policy regarding israel, whether he's tough enough vis-a-vis iran.
you heard the president's answer there. most would concede there is not much to gain by saying the president has been weak on the world. go ask osama bin laden. whether the consumer finance bureau chief or the fight about the payroll tax extension, again we talk about politics a lot -- there are some legitimate policy questions here. some people, some republicans and even some democrats who supported the payroll tax cut months ago are saying there is not that much evidence proving it is stimulative to the economy. is there another way to provide stimulus or tax breaks. there is a policy debate about this. but in the broader political argument a lot of republicans are now privately grumbling that in standing up to the president here, whether on this consumer finance bureau or on the payroll tax cut, that even if the republicans have legitimate policy questions, they want the consumer board restructured, they're not sure the payroll tax
cut has been so effective, there are a lot of republicans who think they are creating an opening to give this president, a struggling president, to give him a chance to find his voice on the economic value lengths. you get more and more nervous republicans when you have conversations with them on that front. >> finding his voice, i want to bring out brianna keilar who's actually at the white house inside of the briefing room there. when john and i were covering the president and former presidents, you did not see a podium with a countdown clock behind it saying this is when middle tax -- tax increases are going to happen here. you didn't hear the president saying, look, i'm going to stay in the white house until this gets done. talk a little bit about the strategy, the optics, the picture of this white house and this president in trying to deliver that message to the middle class in this campaign season. >> yeah. and this was a clock i'm looking tat right now, suzanne, that was unveiled this week here in the briefing room. it's also on the white house
website and this is just part of president obama's plan and the plan of white house officials to really ratchet up pressure on republicans as they try to draw this contrast, that he is for the middle class and that republicans are for the wealthy. the argument that will permeate his re-election fight. now what he's really trying to do is exploit a rift, suzanne, that we have seen between republicans. of course, we've heard from republican leaders -- or certainly sources in republican leadership in congress that the expectation is that that payroll tax cut will be extended. no doubt one of my sources told me. but at the same time, there's a number of republicans, rank and file members, who are not on board who say not having that money go in to the social security fund creates a vulnerability in that entitlement program and also they feel that it is a temporary measure that doesn't really work.
and so as republicans try to work out something that can be palatable to them and as they try to certainly add some things to an extension of the payroll tax cut to make it more palatable to their members, essentially president obama is kind of trying to have a field day with that. we saw that today as he push not only for the nomination to be confirmed but also for the payroll tax cut extension. he got to that pretty quickly as you noted as well as the extension of unemployment benefits that he and democrats are pushing for when he was giving his comments here, suzanne. >> all right, brianna keilar, john king, thank you very much for your perspective. want to get you up to speed now for the next hour. jerry sandusky about to walk out of jail. the former penn state assistant football coach was arrested yesterday after two more young men came forward to accuse him of sexual abuse. well, this brings the total number of alleged victims now to ten.
sandusky is being released on a $250,000 cash bail. there's a new development in the child sex abuse scandal that has shaken syracuse university. just a short time ago, a young man filed a lawsuit against bernie fine. he is the assistant basketball coach who was just fired last month. zach claims fine molested him in pittsburgh in 2002 while the syracuse team was on the road. >> i'm taking this action to support the other men that have gone public and to do everything i can to protect other kids from bernie fine and powerful men like him. i was sexually abused by bernie fine after he invited me to a syracuse game. at the time i wasn't even able to understand the process as it is, as abuse. but now i know what harm he has done to me and others.
>> authorities have raised questions about tomaselli's credibility based on the team's hotel and travel records. two other men also claim that fine molested them and the syracuse district attorney says he can't bring a case, however, because the statute of limitations has now run out. former u.s. senator and governor of new jersey jon corzine is facing some tough questions on capitol hill today. he was chief executive officer of the investment firm mf global whether it collapsed in the eighth largest bankruptcy in u.s. history. lawmakers want to know what happened and why an estimated $1.2 billion in client funds now unaccounted for. in prepared testimony today, corzine apologized for his firm's failure but he says he doesn't know where the missing money went. iranian press tv is showing video of what it says is a u.s. drone that went down over the country just last week. now iran claims that its forces
shot down this drone, but a senior u.s. official says that the aircraft crashed solely because its guidance system had actually failed. the official says the drone was part of a cia reconnaissance mission in afghanistan. 16,000 russians have signed up now on facebook pledging to take part in a massive election protest in moscow on saturday. amnesty international says police have arrested about 1,000 demonstrators this week. protesters say last sunday's parliamentary elections were a fraud. the last soviet leader mikhail gorbachev says that the election should be done over. back now to pennsylvania where former penn state coach jerry sandusky could soon walk out of jail. he posted $250,000 bond just within the last hour. jason carroll is live in pen
ju>> reporter: when i e-mailed e amendola, i asked after he posted the bail would he even be with him here at the center county correctional facility, would he be leaving with lihim. he said hopefully. hopefully we will see very soon jerry sandusky walk out of the facility behind me. again, $250,000 bail is what he had to post. before he does leave this facility, a probation officer will have to come in and put that electronic monitoring device on him. that is one of the conditions of his bail. one of the few conditions. in addition to that, he will be under house arrest, suzanne, as you know. in addition to that, he will also not be able to have any contact with any victims or any witnesses. also, he will not be able to have any unsupervised visits
with any minors. so these are some of the conditions of the bail that have been set forth. >> jason, do we know how he came up with the money? >> not at this point. i mean it would be pure speculation which i'm certainly not going to do. obviously in situations like this, you can put up your home. these are some of the things you can do. you can borrow money but at this point it would be just be pure speculation. >> jason, you're outside the jail. obviously the media is very interested in this story. do we suspect -- do we even know in his own neighborhood, sandusky's neighborhood, whether or not people have been outraged, whether or not they've been outside the home, whether or not people are actually outside the jail following what happens to this guy and where he goes next? >> well, let's start with his neighborhood located just about 20 minutes from here. as you can imagine, his neighbors are fed up with the media coming to and from sandusky's home. he lives in sort of a remote
neighborhood on a cul-de-sac. it is hard to get in and out. they've restricted media from even parking news vans and news trucks in front of his home for obvious reasons. so his neighbors are understandably a little bit fed up with the media. there have been some situations at the home when some rocks have been thrown through sandusky's window there. so that in itself says something. but in terms of people showing up here at the jail, no one's showing up here at the jail except, of course, for the media. >> all right, jason, thank you very much. obviously we'll be monitoring the jail. we'll probably go back to jason as well to bring you an update on actually when sandusky will walk out. we'll have more on that story after a break. people love the surf & turf. you can't go wrong. [ male announcer ] don't miss red lobster's surf & turf. 3 grilled combinations all under $20. like our maine lobster with peppercorn sirloin, or our new bacon-wrapped shrimp with blue cheese sirloin for $14.99. i'm john mazany and i sea food differently.
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certain restrictions apply. rod blagojevich just got sentenced to 14 years in prison. but does the time fit the crime? carol costello joins us from new york with today's "talk back" question. hey, carol. >> hi, suzanne. safe to say the judge threw the book at rod blagojevich. 14 years for, among other things, selling a senate seat for personal political gain. make no mistake, u.s. district judge james vagel made an example of the man of a million hair jokes. >> sentence of 14 years on former governor blagojevich sends a strong message that the public has had enough and judges have had enough. this needs to stop. >> not many would disagree with that, but 14 years? dr. conrad murray only got four years for causing michael jackson's death.
depaul law professor told "the chicago sun times" "i think it is outrageous. he likened the sentence to cruel and unusual punishment and added the judge and the prosecution went off the deep end on this one. after all, former congressman and majority leader tom delay appeared on "dancing with the stars" while charges of money laundering swirled around him. congressman bob nye got 30 months for conspiracy. congressman randy "duke" cunningham got eight years for accepting bribes and tax evasion. richard nixon? he got zero time. clearly mr. blagojevich is not happy to be made an example of. >> we're going to keep fighting on through this adversity and see you soon. >> yet he and many other politicians have violated something that ought to be sacred. that would be your trust. so we want to take the conversation one step farther. the "talk back" question today -- should politicians be subject to harsher punishment
for wrongdoing? facebook.com/carolcnn. i'll read your comments later this hour. >> all right, thank you, carol. a new poll shows newt gingrich taking the lead in three battleground states -- pennsylvania, florida and ohio. but president clinton meanwhile has some interesting things to say about the former speaker of the house. >> he is, first, resilient, and secondly, he's always thinking and he's got a million ideas. and some of them are good, some of them i think are horrible. >> do you think he is the strongest in the field? >> i don't know. i don't know. but in both our party and in theirs, very often the strongest person for the nomination is not necessarily the strongest person
in the general election. and it's a mistake to underestimate governor romney. >> so a lot of kind words. question, politics at play? want to bring in a professor of politics from the university of virginia to talk about all of this. i don't know if this is transparent or not, but bill clinton, lot of compliments that he's paying to republicans these days, especially towards the front-runner, newt gingrich. what do we make of this strategy to say we're buddy h-buddy with these guys and turn the republicans against him. >> president clinton has mellowed. he's a vegan now. maybe the change in diet has encouraged him to take a new view of newt gingrich. he wasn't saying these things in the 1990s. or, it's part of the machiavellian strategy of democrats to get someone who
they consider to be a weaker nominee which would certainly be newt gingrich. now they all wanted ronald reagan in 1980 and we know what happened. but they seem to think that newt gingrich is a weaker general election candidate than mitt romney. >> how do they take on gingrich if he actually runs away with the nomination? they clearly were not prepared for this. >> no, they were not prepared for it. though in their defense, i would have to say that almost nobody other than newt gingrich thought he would be the run-away front-runner at this point in the campaign. but of course they have a year and it is not as though they have to go digging very far to find things about newt gingrich. they can use in the campaign. he's got enough baggage to fill the cargo hold of a 747. so they're going to use all of that information from the 1990s, and after the 1990s. the lobbyist career -- the non-lobbyist lobbyist career, taking all that money from freddie mac and serving as a historian and all the rest of it. they have plenty to use, but i
think they also have to focus on the economic situation and the future and put gingrich in that picture. >> yeah. i want to ask you about the timing of that. the dnc already released this attack ad hitting romney pretty hard. but besides a couple of days on sunday talk shows there really hasn't been the substantial swinging at gingrich yet. why do you suppose we haven't seen that kind of hard hitting criticism yet? >> well, suzanne, i think first of all they really weren't prepared for gingrich to be the front-runner. but second, their strategy with mitt romney was to weaken him early. now in their wildest dreams, they really didn't think they could help weaken romney enough so that somebody else could get the nomination, but they may have assisted this process where an anti-romney in this case newt gingrich, skyrockets to the top of the polls. they had simply hoped to weaken romney enough for the general election so that president obama could make quick work of him in
the fall. >> all right, professor, thank you very much. we'llen followi ebe following a developments. there is serious charges that a government weapons sting really put guns in the hands of mexican drug runners. now the u.s. attorney general is on capitol hill trying to explain. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about the personal attention tdd# 1-800-345-2550 you and your money deserve. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab, that means taking a close look at you tdd# 1-800-345-2550 as well as your portfolio. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 we ask the right questions, tdd# 1-800-345-2550 then we actually listen to the answers tdd# 1-800-345-2550 before giving you practical ideas you can act on. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 so talk to chuck online, on the phone, tdd# 1-800-345-2550 or come in and pull up a chair.
raped and killed a 7-year-old girl will face a judge in about an hour from now. police say ryan brunn tracked down that little girl near her apartment playground. he's a maintenance worker at that complex. joining us from outside the courthouse in canton, georgia, holly firfer who's covering this. holly, tell us a little bit about who this person is and what they believe he's done. >> well, ryan brunn was a 20-year-old maintenance worker. he actually lived and worked in the apartment complex where she was killed and that was very important for police when they were looking for the suspect, because the maintenance workers were the only ones who had keys to the trash compacter where they found her body. he lived with a roommate in the complex and it was a tip from neighbors that alerted police to
his -- to him which then subsequently ended in his arrest. actually i have the arrest warrant, copies of them, here. he was arrested for lying to law enforcement and also for murder, malice aforethought. so today he'll have his first appearance in a courtroom. they'll read the charges against him and it should be very brief. and after that, then we'll find out exactly what other charges they're going to add. law enforcement tells us they'll probably be charges to do with sexual molestation, kidnapping and it remains to be seen whether they will go for the death penalty. >> holly, we've heard from brunn's brother now who says this arrest is a big mistake. are people coming to his defense now? >> reporter: not many people. his brother, his family members. that's about it. not a lot of people knew him very well. he had only moved into the complex about a month before this happened. on november 7th he started working there. law enforcement did say they did
a check on his background. there's no known criminal history. the apartment complex actually gave us a statement last night saying they investigated him and did a background check and didn't find anything, but law enforcement is going to continue to see what there might be in the background. they'll look at every state, every county where he's lived to see if they can connect any unsolved crimes or maybe some unreported crimes. >> all right, holly, thank you very much. american soldiers on the road again, moving equipment and troops out of iraq. it is a dangerous mission but worth it after eight long years of war. ♪ i'm burning out this useless telephone ♪
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>> reporter: 2:30 a.m. and the convoy comes to life in the dark bitter cold. despite the time and temperature, these soldiers of the 82nd airborne are in a good mood. this trip will mean their war is almost over. the trip has taken six weeks to prepare, mainly because of security. convoys are tempting targets especially for ieds. to counter them the u.s. military began using mine assisted ambush vehicles, weighing several tons. looking like snowplows, trucks with massive rollers designed to detonate mines lead the way. >> reporter: the convoy is divided into various sections and it makes it easier to travel. so this group will run ahead of the group that we're with. all told though, once on the
highway the soldiers are now the most vulnerable they've been during their entire deployment. how you feeling? >> i'm pretty excited to get home but careful not to get too excited because anything can happen. >> reporter: helicopters providing cover from the air check in. if there's going to be trouble, convoy leaders believe it will be in and around baghdad. but instead, the only thing the convoy meets is the rising sun. the drive drags on and on. the m raps are so packed with bodies and gear it is hard to find a spot to rest your feet. air condition something kept near freezing so the soldiers remain alert. then -- >> just called up that they may have received small arms fire in the vicinity of the rest stop. >> reporter: some lead vehicles have come under fire at a place where the convoy planned to take a break.
the rest of the mraps bypass the problem stopping later instead by the side of the road. >> make sure everyone has a chance to trade out their driverers, trade out their gunners and make sure everybody has a chance to stretch out their legs. >> reporter: eventually we make it. it has been a grinding ten hours at an average speed of just 13 kilometers or 20 miles an hour. here the convoy will spend the night. what does that mean for you? >> it means one step closer to home hopefully if everything goes as planned. >> reporter: tomorrow they'll be on the road again for the final six hours to kuwait. group photo there of the team. i should point out, military officials say there have been several ied attacks against convoys over the past six weeks that they've really been operating at full force. they say there has not been any real serious damage as a result of that. the concern is that as the number of american forces in iraq continue to go down, they
believe the attacks against those convoys could rise. some groups will want to give the impression that american forces are leaving under fire. >> all right, still a dangerous situation there. thank you, martin. iranian press tv is now showing video of what it says is a u.s. drone that went down over the country last week. we'll go live to the pentagon to see what does this mean for national security.
video now of what it says is a u.s. drone that went down over the country last week. iran claims that its forces shot down that drone but a senior u.s. official says that the aircraft crashed solely because the guidance sis tell failed. well, our cnn's chris lawrence is live at the pentagon. chris, what's this new information or do we have new information that we could learn from these pictures? >> well, we have what looks to be a drone that matches the pictures we had seen before of this u.s. stealth drone. now we also have iranian claims that go with that with the commander of the islamic revolution guards corps coming on state tv in iran explaining how they downed this aircraft, saying that their electronic surveillance and intelligence gathering detected that this plane was going to cross into their airspace beforehand and that when it did and started flying over that part of the border in iran, that they then
brought it down by some means. they also say that they are well aware how precious the technology in this drone is. now we've spoken to some of the experts. i've e-mailed out this picture a couple times and some of this video to get some feedback. one person e-mailed me back and said, wow, that's in glorious condition. he said sarcastically for a crashed drone. someone else said, it almost appears to be a mock-up for a parade. so just yesterday we had u.s. officials saying they had satellite images on the crash and they said that it suffered significant damage. so we've obviously got two stories going on here, u.s. and iran. >> so they don't really believe these pictures, they don't think that that's the drone that went down in iran. >> they believe that iran does have what's left of the drone. i'm not so sure if they believe that is what they actually recovered. but, suzanne, the key here is they may not need a completely
intact drone. back in 1999 one of the u.s.' first stealth planes was shot down over serbia. chinese officials were set to come into serbia and buy up those pieces from the local farmers. when you look at what makes this drone stealthy, some of the paint, the coating, the shape, some of that can be learned from fragments, not just an intact drone. >> okay. so obviously, national security a big issue with that. thank you, chris, appreciate it. so if you tend to pile the food on your plate during the holidays? something to think about -- scientists are claiming color plays a role in your serving size. we'll explain why. but first, the next list is a new cnn program focusing on some of america's most creative minds. each sunday dr. sanjay gupta is profiling people on the cutting edge of technology and innovation and this week he's looking at toys as art.
>> i design the toy made by kid robot. it is a combination of devil and bunny. it is design to be a blank surface for artists to collaborate on so everyone that cams out is designed by a particular artist. >> everywhere there is a major city where there are creative people you'll find art toys now. from tokyo to all across europe, south america. they're everywhere now. one more gift... [ gasps ] [ male announcer ] if you're giving an amazing gift, shouldn't it be given in an amazing way? ♪ ♪
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there are some promising new developments in the fight against breast cancer. two studies now show a combination of treatments that can help slow down the spread of the disease. the treatments can overcome or reduce drug resistance when the cancer has spread beyond the breasts and lymph nodes. studies involved a number of different therapies, including a combination of a hormone blocking drug and kidney cancer drug. about 200,000 american women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. well, lunch time in the east, maybe a little late breakfast in the west. time to dish with diet. researchers are saying the color of your plate actually counts when it comes to counting calories. elizabeth cohen joins us to talk about this. so i don't really get this,
elizabeth. the color of your plate actually matters in how much you eat? >> i guess -- this is so crazy, but that's what this study showed. is that it matters what color plate you eat off of that is sort of plays tricks on your brain and can make you eat more or eat less. so i have here some plates and what they did in this study is that people went through buffet lines with red plates or white plates. what they found is that people put more food on their plate when it matched the color of the plate. you see spaghetti with a red sauce on a red plate. however when it contrasts, they put less on their plate. the thinking is that perhaps what's going on is that here it just looks like more food because there's a contrast, whereas here it looks like less. you think, i need more, i'm really hungry. when in fact there isn't less, it just kind of blends in. >> that's really interesting because it really does look like more on the white plate. >> it is the exact same amount. >> really. i guess it does kind of play tricks on you a little bit. what about the tablecloth?
does that matter at all or is that a part of the equation? >> you know what? the tablecloth matters, too. it is crazy. according to another study, they looked at -- first they looked at an optical illusion. i'm sure you've seen this before, kind of like an old party trick. which dot looks bigger. the one on the right looks bigger just because of the size of the circle that's around it. so because of that exact same optical illusion, people ate more when the plate contrasts with the tablecloth and people ate less when the plate matched the tablecloth. we're not talking about tons and tons. i mean this is in terms of putting food on your plate. we aren't talking about a huge difference. but look, if you eat a 50-calorie difference and do you that every single day, that can add up to like five pounds a year. so this might help you. >> i wonder if you're just standing and you aren't sitting at a table if it makes any difference at all if you're always eating on the go -- >> or if you're colorblind maybe it doesn't matter.
>> there you go. i guess it brings up a more serious question obviously. cdc says about one-third of americans are now obese. regardless of the color of the plate, how can we make ourselves more aware of just how much these portions that we're eating? >> one of the things you can do is do what people do really in the rest of the world -- and that is eat on a smaller plate. plate sizes in this country have gone way up. so if you eat on a smaller plate, you're going -- studies show you'll put less food on that plate. that's another thing you can do. portion size is huge. in many ways in this country our problem isn't so much necessarily what we eat, although of course that plays a role, it is the portion sizes. so whatever you can do to trick your brain into thinking you're eating more, and that you should be satisfied, you should do it. >> you ever notice the buffets, those plates are huge? >> they're huge for a reason. right? >> they want you to pile it on, i guess. zplex actually.
>> thank you, elizabeth. really fascinating. he tried to sell barack obama's senate seat to the highest bidder. he got 14 years for it. some are saying the judge was making an example of rod blagojevich. but should politicians get harsher sentences than the rest of us. we're letting you answer that question for us in the "talk back" section next. but first, some free money advice from the cnn help desk. >> time for the help desk where we get answers to your financial questions. joining me this hour, jeff otter, executive editor of cbsmoneywatch.com, donna risato, senior editor for "money" magazine. monique is a 58-year-old widow, she was married for ten years. she wants to know if she remarries is she going to lose the right to her late husband's social security benefits. >> this is an interesting one. she actually will not lose her rights if she remarries but she can't remarry until she's after age 60. if she's got someone in mind they might want a long
engagement. it is true if you're divorced have you to be married at least ten years to collect but that's not true of a widow. the one other thing she might keep in mind, whoever she marries, check how much social security that person might get and, weigh that against what she might have gotten from her previous husband and see which one might be higher. >> sure. good advice. jack, your question comes from california -- are there any tax advantages to investing my 401(k) contribution in my own company's stock? >> there's no tax advantage. there is a huge financial investing disadvantage. but anything within a 401(k) is all taxed the same as ordinary income when you take it out. but the problem with investing in company stock is, your financial present and future is hitched to your company. everyone thinks their company's great, there will be no problems, but who knows? there could be a stumble down the road. you could lose your job and if you a your resirmt savings are invested in that company you
could lose both your job and your savings. no more than 5% in company stock and really is there any reason to be in company stock? answer that question very carefully. generally i'd say no, diversify away. >> thank you so much. if you want a question answered, e-mail us any time to the email@example.com. this is $100,000. we asked total strangers to watch it for us. thank you so much, i appreciate it, i'll be right back. they didn't take a dime. how much in fees does your bank take to watch your money ? if your bank takes more money than a stranger, you need an ally. ally bank.
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republicans presidential candidates think of the road to the white house runs past trump tower on 5th avenue in new york. comedians are getting a kick out of the prilgrimage to see the donald. >> here they are meeting. >> amazing how well he's doing and how he's really resonated with so many people. >> what's fascinating, you can see trump has really had an influence on newt gingrich. i saw him today on another cable show. show newt gingrich. >> well first, you take the spending -- it is going to be 14 years of hard time for rod blagojevich. but did the punishment fit the crime? should politicians be subjected to harsher punishment than the rest of us? carol costello is in new york with today's "talk back" question. >> that was the question today.
should politicians be subject to harsher punishments. this from john -- absolutely. but blagojevich will never serve the full 14 years. what about hedge fund managers and rating agencies? they also destroyed our confidence and our institutions while cheating us out of trillions of dollars. they're protected from justice by their money, lobby money and positions of power. jeffrey -- they need to abide by the same rules like you and me. they should not get away scot-free when harsher punishment are implemented for those politicians, it will stop the dom knee effect and stop them from developing the mind set of i'm above all. creative and compassionate sentencing ought to be used more often. america cannot afford to have the world's highest incarceration rate. in addition to a monitor fund, community service is called for. not the caging of blagojevich as if he were a wild animal. charlie -- it has reached a point where politicians use their elected offices to capitalize on what it can do for them and their futures.
the good of the american people or the country mean nothing to most of them. violation of public trust is a heinous crime and they must pay dearly. a harsh punishment is absolutely necessary to stop or at least slow down the abuse. keep the conversation going, facebook.com/carolcnn. though i will warn you, for some reason, facebook is automatically deleting posts today. it is not me. so i'm just reading as fast as i can. >> really? >> facebook monsters comes in and gobbles it up -- yes, weird. >> okay. well good thing we got some of those on, at least. now you know, carol, we love these favorite stories. we always throw them your way. so this is something that's really interesting. when you and i turned 16 we probably thought, great, get keys to the family car. so now teens are asked whether or not they'd rather have access to the car or a computer. and it shows that they're actually split. almost half of all 18 to 24 year-olds pick the computer.
that's according to survey. really a sign of the times. researchers say kids are spending more time e-mailing their friends rather than actually getting in the car to see their friends. >> you can go anywhere in the world on your computer. right? you can't do that in your parents' car. you can probably only go two blocks because that's the rule. >> i think it's true. my 17-year-old niece, not interested at all in driving. couldn't care less about the keys to the car but of course she's got computer access. that's just i guess the way it is now, huh? >> i don't know. it is kind of sad. but it is kind of sad actually. so much better to see people in person. but then i'm not 16. >> somebody just gives her a ride. she just has her mom for a ride. she gets a ride. little spoiled. all right, carol. there are now charges that government weapons sting put guns in the hands of mexican
drug runners and now the u.s. attorney general is on capitol hill trying to explain. [ knock on door ] cool. you found it. wow. nice place. yeah. [ chuckles ] the family thinks i'm out shipping these. smooth move. you used priority mail flat rate boxes. if it fits, it ships for a low, flat rate. paid for postage online and arranged a free pickup. and i'm gonna track them online, too. nice. between those boxes and this place, i'm totally staying sane this year. do i smell snickerdoodles? maybe. [ timer dings ] got to go. priority mail flat rate shipping at usps.com.
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gray hat with neon brim and a maroon hoodie and backpack, that he was on foot. this is just coming in to us now. virginia tech posting on their website that the campus is on lockdown after reports of shots fired. you could imagine how significant this is to the virginia tech community. you may recall it was back in 2007 that tragedy where you had a gunman who went through and killed more than 30 people on that campus just four years ago at virginia tech. so they're taking all precautions and that campus is now on lockdown. now how are they actually alerting the students? how are they alerting the faculty an the community there? they've done a number of things to try to communicate and communicate quickly to people since the 2007 tragedy. one of the things that they are doing is that they have a website and they are posting on their website what is taking
place there. letting people know that they are now on lockdown because they have reports of shots being fired. now so far there's not a lot of information about the suspected shooter. the shooter is only described as a white male wearing gray sweat pants, gray hat with a neon brim, maroon hoodie and a backpack who is actually headed on foot. that is really all the information that we know. but you can imagine the kind of tension and the concern and the worry after we had seen what had happened in 2007. that campus was terrorized in one of the largest incidents of a school shooting that has taken place in this country. 33 people were killed, including the shooter himself in that tragic situation. so virginia tech immediately trying to figure out